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Title: Alcohol and authority in early New South Wales: The symbolic significance of the spirit trade, 1788-1808
Contributor(s): Allen, Matthew  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2012
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Abstract: Alcohol was a persistent problem for the early governors of New South Wales. Despite repeated orders to limit the volume of spirits allowed into the colony, Phillip, Hunter, King and Bligh all failed to control the trade that helped establish a rival commercial elite and was seen as a leading cause of crime. This regulatory struggle is the basis for an exaggerated view of the distinctive significance of rum in the colony; despite recent revisionism our understanding of the trade still requires a broader context. In fact, the official failure to restrain the trade was unsurprising, given the ubiquity of alcohol in eighteenth century Britain and the peculiar importance of spirits to the colonial economy. But the status of drunkenness as a symbol of disorder meant that the unregulated trade undermined the colony's status as a convict reformatory and challenged the authority of the early governors.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: History Australia, 9(3), p. 7-26
Publisher: Monash University ePress
Place of Publication: Melbourne, Australia
ISSN: 1833-4881
Field of Research (FOR): 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
160299 Criminology not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 950503 Understanding Australias Past
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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